Class of 2023: Elizabeth Glazunov discovers a wider view of public health
December 12, 2023
Name: Elizabeth Glazunov
College: Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Major: Public health
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
She is described as a “once in a lifetime student” by an instructor in a college different from the one in which she is obtaining a degree.
Elizabeth Glazunov, a top graduating senior this fall in the Department of Population Health Sciences within the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, received the 2023 Phi Kappa Phi Medallion Award. She will be graduating this month with a Bachelor of Science in public health (BSPH) with plans to pursue further education and a career in dentistry.
“Elizabeth is a superstar in the BSPH program,” said Kerry Redican, professor of public health and director of certificate programs in the department. “Her academic coursework consistently reflected the highest academic standards and exceeds expectations. BSPH faculty enjoyed working with Elizabeth and faculty know she will go on to do great things.”
Glazunov, a first-generation college graduate, began her Virginia Tech career studying human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences but switched to public health as she became more interested in “a wider perspective on understanding health on a bigger scale than just one person’s body, focusing more on community outreach.”
Glazunov served on the health education and awareness team for Hokie Wellness and on a team of students called COVID Crushers who volunteered at vaccine clinics in rural parts of the state.
“That was an opportunity that I think did a lot for me personally because it was my first time seeing health care in rural Virginia,” Glazunov said. “I’m from Richmond with a lot of accessibility and resources, and then to go there and see that there just aren’t those resources, explaining to them how the vaccine works, this is what you need to take care of yourself. That was really interesting and a great experience.”
At the rural health clinics, Glazunov also saw firsthand the difficulties in communication with Spanish-speaking residents, reigniting an interest in learning Spanish she had in high school, ultimately leading to a semester abroad studying in Spain. She has also seen the need for dentistry in underserved communities while volunteering with the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke.
Candace Wall, instructor of chemistry in the College of Science, called Glazunov a “once in a lifetime student.”
Wall said Glazunov, amid more than 300 students in general chemistry taking the class remotely during the pandemic, “asked excellent questions and worked to develop a digital community of people during online review sessions.” Her positive outlook on difficult situations and creativity in problem solving made her “an obvious choice as a learning assistant for general chemistry.”
“I know that I am not the only professor at Virginia Tech that feels this way about Liz,” Wall said. “When I brought her name up at an interdisciplinary meeting of faculty, three other professors knew who she was and had similar experiences while getting to know her.”